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Springs Victory: Kore Comes Back

By Bea Nettles
Urbana, Illinois: Bea Nettles, 2019. Edition of 12.

4.5 x 11.5 x .25" closed, extends to 23.5"; 8 pages. Accordion structure. Digitally printed on Tyvek. Bound in cloth covered boards with pictorial paper title label on front cover. Laid in a cloth covered box with pictorial paper title on top cover. Colophon adhered to interior base. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Bea Nettles: "During my travels to cemeteries, I have photographed over six thousand surnames that are parts of speech that I find on headstones. For sometimes obvious, but also curious reasons, people have been named for places, occupations, plants, animals, colors and personalities. Using these words I have created several books and card decks that investigate language, mythology, history, and some of life’s major events.

"The inspiration to write my version of the myth of Persephone (also known as Kore by the Greeks) occurred to me because I had already located the surnames of Demeter, her mother the goddess of grain, her uncle Neptune and the messenger god Hermes. Additional searches located other key characters including her father Jupiter (the Roman Zeus), and her husband and king of the underworld Hades.

"What followed were months of thinking about my favorite season and this familiar myth. It is a compelling explanation for the return of spring every year and a story of a powerful mother/daughter bond. Corn, wheat, barley, oats all appear as do abundant birds. Winter is filled with wind storms, frost, sleet, ice and snow. "I am continuing to collect new and marvelously descriptive words!."

Bruce Michelson, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, UIUC: "What it does is recover a deeper history and inherent strangeness of American names, forgotten contrails that connect us to places, trades, faiths, and other circumstances far back and far away. ....the names of the dead here become a kind of chorus, or voices in a cantata, in which another old and foggy story of death and life rises out of the mythology textbooks and recovers a power to mean and to haunt; and families in that chorus seem to merge into something like a people, or a vast tribe rolling down through time. … What I mean to say is that this really works, and that I value it.”

Springs Victory: Kore Comes Back

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